Over half the members of the Association of Residential Lettings Agents have reported that rents have risen over the past six months.
The problem is a shortage of homes in the UK, as potential new buyers are unable to get a mortgage and are instead forced to rent.
A study by the association found that there are more prospective tenants than available properties, with the competition for properties driving up rents. The situation is worst in central London. Ian Potter, operations manager for ARLA, said: 'As many parties are reporting, there is a clear shortage of homes to buy in the UK. Faced with this, many people are turning to rental homes as a more flexible option than buying.
'Yet our research highlights that the dearth of properties is just as real in the private rented sector and is showing no signs of improvement.'
The ARLA wants the Government to step in with ways to incentivise investment in the private rental sector in order to increase property numbers.